Children, LifewithEm

#LifewithEm

Me: Em come hang out with me.

Em: What do you mean? I’ve been home all day?

Me: But in your room, not with your mom!

Em: So what do you want to do?

Me: I don’t know, just hang out with me like we used to.

Em: Like we used to what? What did we do?

Me: I don’t know, like when we would hang out all the time. Like talk a walk with the dog.

Em: Mom we did that once.

Me: Twice.

Em: Ok twice. I don’t know what you mean I’m here all the time….I’m bored!!!!

I’m all to sadly aware the day has come when my daughter would rather hang out in her room on the phone with her friends than with her mom.

For all you mommas overwhelmed with littles…

tired..

covered in crap (throw up, spit up, mac and cheese, ketchup or whatever else)…

wishing for a break….

trying to hold it together…

giving YOURSELF timeouts in the bathroom…

waiting for the day they can wipe their own butt,

unbuckle their own car seat,

brush their own hair,

brush their own teeth,

fix their own meal,

tuck themselves in,

do their own homework (because let’s be real no one gets common core math),

and want to go somewhere just once without having to pay for a babysitter…..

I get it…

I felt that.

I miss that.

#growinguptofast

coping, Quarantine, Uncategorized

I Might Not Be Motivated Anymore

I feel like when I was younger it was easier to be motivated. I secretly wonder if other “‘grown ups” feel this way or if it’s just me. Sometimes, I think maybe I just “used up” all my motivation in my twenties simply getting through the complete chaos of my life at that time. Like, maybe we are born with a certain amount of motivation and over time we deplete it like the gas gauge in our cars and after a while we just run on empty until we come to a puff-puff and stop.

It’s funny, because I have spent over two decades coaching hundreds of women and I hear it over and over again, ”I don’t feel motivated and I just don’t know why!”  So that makes me think maybe it’s not just me. Women who are stuck in a rut, wanting to change, but finding themselves procrastinating, and avoiding doing the actual work that is required for change.  Over the years I’ve watched big dreams and goals die simply because the dreamer was waiting to, “feel motivated.” 

Unfortunately, I get it. As I’m writing this I am remembering I promised one of my favorite nurses I would do a video for her (God I hope she’s not reading this) and literally every day I say, “Em we have to do that video!” It’s a month later and alas no video.

I also have a desk I want to repaint. It’s my grandfather’s, one of the bigger projects in my “redecorate my home saga” and I keep avoiding it. Because truth be told, having to pick out a “light shade of gray paint” starts to bring on an anxiety attack simply because we all know there is at least 50 shades of gray and probably more like 50,000 shades of gray according to Lowes.

I could go on and fill up this whole page with a list of things I’m “planning” on doing as soon as I start to get going to get motivated….

In my head, I know this stems from a basic misunderstanding of motivation.  In my work life, I have found motivation always follows action.  Sure, we might be briefly motivated by an inspiring speaker, a hyped up video or a mind shifting book, but those tend to be fleeting temporary moments of motivation. Only when we start in action and see results, does motivation last.  It’s like this crazy diet I’m doing. I’m not motivated to eat a salad for lunch or drive 20 minutes to my yoga class.  Sure, I want to lose weight and fit back into my jeans, but when that donut is calling my name and it’s raining outside motivation is hiding warmly tucked into my covers exactly where I want to be. It’s only when I put on those skinny jeans after weeks of calorie counting, it’s only after I can do a perfect one armed plank and I see tangible results from my actions that I get a deep lasting motivation… and think, “Hey this is worth it!” (Ok let’s be real. I’m still trying to master a 20 second plank with two arms much less one…but one can dream….)

I was recently asked how to “get motivated.” So here’s what I came up with based on what I see works in business.

  • Choose one small action that you can do in the next 24 hours that would take a tiny step in the direction you want to go.
  • Choose to do just one small action each day for five days without concern for the results or the feelings. Just the action.
  • Start with the end in mind. Think about where you ultimately want to end up. Break that down into small realistic steps and commit to 90 days of action only towards this goal.  You can change anything in 90 days if you stick with it.

So I guess it’s time to take my own advice and find one small project I want to complete and take one small action each day towards this. Which brings me back to procrastination…I mean I have a gazillion projects which one am I motivated to do first? So if I have to choose just one I’ll choose getting Making Cancer Fun ready for our next product launch because openly it feels 100% overwhelming.

So here’s to hoping if I commit to just the action, then maybe, just maybe, I might feel motivated after all….

* I’d love to hear your thoughts on this? Anything you are feeling unmotivated about too?*

PS if you want an updated on the Gigglers, they are back this weekend and this is the current conversation at my kitchen table while I’m writing.

Giggler 1: Do you know how much personal shoppers get paid? $70K! That’s like $18K more than teachers. We need to ditch the teacher idea and become shoppers!

Giggler 2 : I have a better idea let’s still be teachers and then be personal shoppers on the weekends!

Giggler 1: Or ice cream testers ,we can make $60K a year.

Giggler 2: That’s not a lot of money.

Giggler 1: Yes it is!

Giggler 2: No it’s not. Your house is probably like $300K (side note how does she know what houses costs?) It’s not a lot of money. But it depends where you live (and then goes on to explain housing costs and salaries nation wide….. ok confession giggler #2 is my giggler….)

Other ideas they are actively considering:

  • food stylists
  • ice cream testers
  • water slide testers
  • panda mommies
  • professional bridesmaid (apparently you get paid $1K a wedding)
  • Private Island Caretaker ($150K a year)

*UPDATE* They have decided on a professional bed warmer. ($200K a year) to take naps in other people’s beds.

And in other news I now may be changing careers…..

Photo by Zhang Kenny on Unsplash

Children, diet, Uncategorized

Giggles, Diets and My “New” Medication

There are teenagers running all over my house. They are loud. A teenage girl giggle is apparently one of the loudest sounds on the planet breaking all sound barriers. It’s also more contagious than COIVD19. Once one shriek is heard expect others to follow.

I was trying to sleep last night. I kept getting woken up. I believe at once point I literally shouted downstairs, “I can hear your entire conversation, be quiet!” 

Emily yelled back, “Wait, you can hear what we’re saying??

 “YES I CAN!” I may have screamed back.

Ok, so I couldn’t really hear exactly what they were saying but I figured if she thought I could she would quiet down simply out of, “I don’t want my mom to hear us” since it clearly wasn’t out of, “I don’t’ want to keep my mom awake.

I am happy she is happy and that my house is filled with teenage giggles. I’m glad she has great friends who have great parents who have great values. I’m glad she wants them all over here to hang out and take over my house. Too soon it will be quiet and those giggles will be filling dorm rooms instead of her bedroom.

I also have to admit I am super cranky.  Recently, a lot super cranky.  (Emily will attest to this.) In case you haven’t heard I am on a diet. You can call it whatever you want, “Getting healthy,” “Creating healthy habits,” “Getting fit” or whatever other sad-attempt-to-put-a- positive-spin-on-it you can think of, but just remember the word is actually just DIE with a “T” attached.  I have lost over 10 pounds and a total of 6 inches in 6 weeks.  Today, I put on a pair of jeans I haven’t worn in a year. (Ok it is 2020, has anyone really worn jeans this year?)

This also means I am not self-soothing myself with Entenmann’s donuts and Oreos. I have had to come face to face with the fact that chocolate really is my self-medication and makes me feel better when I eat it. In the past I have joked that Oreos are my crack, however this is no longer a joking matter. I actually had to make an appointment with my doctor because my anxiety is through the roof.

I calmly explained that while I have suffered from anxiety in the past, it has always been caused by a specific reason.  (I mean being stalked by your ex and keeping a stage 4 kid with cancer alive feels like it should come with a free anxiety pass.) But now I am safe and my daughter is happy (hence the giggles at 2am) so why am I finding myself snapping and panicky? It’s bizarre and I can’t figure it out in my head. Things that don’t make sense in my head then … cause me more anxiety.  (Like how that works?) I have been told I am an overthinker and only recently learned not every talks to themselves in their heads.  I can’t even imagine going through life as one of these bizarre non-self-talking mutant-humans. (You can learn more about this strange phenomena HERE.)

Then, of course,  I tell myself to, “Get it together!”  I lovingly question myself with, “What the heck is wrong with you!!!” And finally blame myself with, “If you had a better routine, worked out more, meditated, or were more organized” you wouldn’t have this “problem.” All of which just seems to increase my anxiety.

My doctor thinks it’s my diet.  Now, instead of stopping at Wawa on my way home to literally soothe myself with the delicious smoothness of a perfectly crack-high inducing donut, I am snapping and hyperventilating.

So, it seems my choice is fat and happy or skinny and cranky?  She suggests I drink a glass of wine at night.  Yup, that is my prescription. She’s been my doctor for years. She says anything she gives me will have way worse side effects than a glass of wine. And, since I don’t have an addictive personality (maybe I haven’t been 100% upfront about my donut issues) she feels it’s the “safest” way to go.  If I start drinking a bottle a night that’s a different story. (I think about sophomore year health class and learning how all smokers start smoking just “one” cigarette.,.. but decide not to bring that up.)  I was married to an alcoholic so I am definitely leery although somewhat excited (?) about my new “medication.”

I have decided it’s more fun getting fat. I like margarita’s, donuts and anything covered in cheese. It’s less fun getting fit. I don’t enjoy working out, drinking water like it’s …well water, and measuring my cheese so I can log it in an app.  “Why God? Why did you make it that way?????”  I am angry and resentful of this “the way the world works” knowledge.

It’s Saturday night and I’m typing this in my office (yes it’s 24 hours later and there’s still squeals of giggles coming from the other room … only now with “new” gigglers added” ). I just picked up pizza, salad and poppers for the gigglers. I was upfront with them. I’ll feed you dinner I just won’t cook it….what do you want? (Don’t worry, I have long ago given up on that pre-child fantasy about being the Pinterest mom who has an adorable Halloween themed Saturday night dinner planned for the giggler and her friends…that mom probably drinks way more than a glass….or at least that’s what my jealous judgment thinking rationalizes.)

I cut a tiny slice in half and savored every bite.  Pre-DIEt I would have had 2 slices. My sad half slice will have to do if I want to keep wearing these jeans.

Then, that horrible voice which must truly be from Satan himself starts up:

Do you really want to wear these jeans Tara? I mean COVID cases are going up and there’s a more than 50% chance you’ll be in full lock down again soon and wearing yoga pants and no one will see you anyway because zoom is from the waste up afterall…

Then I remember these last six weeks and how gooooood it felt today to put on these jeans… and I sulk away with my pathetic half slice and a mason JUG full of water.

I already drank my glass of wine too so no luck there.

I hear it has been said, “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”…apparently that person never had an Entenmann’s donut. 

Here’s to being the skinniest anxiety ridden person you know. Cheers.  

PS Literally as I am trying to post this the gigglers have just intruded and taken over my office and are planning a fashion show in the pile of dresses I have set out for donation/consignment. I am equally grateful they want to hang out with me and confused on how such small humans can make so much noise.